October 2020
Mark Your Calendars
November 9-19, 2020 - Merrick, Inc.'s 3rd Annual Online Auction
Please forward this message to your friends and family to spread the word about how people can support our programs for adults with disabilities.
What's New
Merrick Presents Virtual Annual Awards Ceremony
On October 1, 2020, Merrick, Inc., held our annual client awards ceremony. Though it looked significantly different this year, the event continued to be a special opportunity to recognize the contributions and achievements of clients supported by Merrick. We recorded this special occasion and uploaded it to YouTube for all the proud parents, family members, case managers, and caregivers who were unable to attend the event in-person. Please join us in congratulating these amazing individuals for their hard work and dedication.

During the ceremony, we also took a moment to recognize and remember Bobby Petersen and Leslie Polister. Both would have been celebrating their 35th year with Merrick and have been dearly missed since their passing. Stories from Merrick staff were shared in loving memory of Bobby and Leslie who touched our hearts for so many years.

In this unusual year, some families observed their loved ones getting awards via FaceTime or Zoom. Other clients who are participating in remote services are receiving their awards on their doorsteps with social distancing. We have heard from one family that is planning to show the video at their own celebration. We are happy that these client successes are still being recognized and celebrated!
Client Awards Ceremony Part 1
Client Awards Ceremony Part 2
A Tribute to Bobby & Leslie
Merrick Welcomes New HR Director
On September 28th, Merrick welcomed Donna Bauer as our new Human Resources Director. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Donna brings 20 years of nonprofit and HR experience to the job. A graduate of George Washington University with a double major in US Public Policy and International Relations, Donna previously worked as a Director of Business Operations for Simpson Housing Services in Minneapolis, a position that required her to wear many hats. She is pleased for the opportunity to focus solely on human resources in her new role at Merrick. Donna looks forward to helping Merrick attract and hire new people and equipping them with the tools they need to be successful. She believes that by streamlining processes and hiring talented people she can help managers achieve their goals and contribute to the growth of the company. Donna and her domestic partner, Jeffrey, have 3 children and a lovable yellow Labrador named Jackson. When she can spare the time, Donna will often volunteer with The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts. We are excited to have Donna join our mission to empower adults with disabilities and hope you will join us in welcoming her.
How You Can Make a Difference
Become a Champion for Adults with Disabilities:
Join our Club of Monthly Donors
This fall, we are inviting you to become a founding member of the Champions Club.
What is the Champions Club?
Our Champions Club is a community of monthly givers empowering adults with disabilities on their journey toward realizing their goals and dreams. As a member of the Champions Club, your monthly gift will help us focus on providing meaningful life enrichment and employment opportunities.

Why should I give monthly?
It's effective. The average cost of providing services is $80 per client per day while the government reimbursement is $75. This creates a $5 gap. Over a year's time, an easy monthly gift of just $100 will fill this gap for one client.

It's easy. Make a secure recurring contribution at www.merrickinc.org/champions. Select your monthly donation amount, enter your contact and payment information and submit.

It's convenient. You will never again have to worry about forgetting to donate to Merrick.

It's flexible. At any time, you can request that changes be made to your ongoing pledge.
Sam (pictured) helped pack over 5,100 COVID-19 tests in August. Join our club of monthly givers to support Sam and her goal of maintaining a steady source of funding.
Contact Megan Kuneli at (651) 789-6207 or megank@merrickinc.org.
It's Workplace Giving Season!
Many workplace giving programs encourage gifts through payroll deduction. Did you know you can designate Merrick, Inc., as the recipient of your contribution?

It’s easy to choose Merrick, Inc. In order for your donation to not be confused with similar sounding organizations, be sure to use the following information: Merrick, Inc., 3210 Labore Rd, Vadnais Heights, MN 55110. Merrick's tax ID/EIN number is 41-0991279.
Fundraising Events
Autumn Online Auction Coming Soon
When: November 9-19, 2020
Location: Online (URL link will be made available at a later date)
You're officially invited to Merrick's Autumn Online Auction. Starting November 9th, you will have a 10-day period to place your bids for the chance to come out on top when the auction closes at 9:00 pm on November 19th. Stay tuned for more information regarding access to the auction and what items will be up for grabs.

Here's a sneak peek at a few of the items that we will be auctioning:

  • Advanced Dermatology Care Gift Basket
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Minnesota Vikings Autographed Football
  • Troy Burne Golf Club Foursome (Includes Carts!)
Charity Golf Scramble was a Success!
Many thanks to everyone who contributed to Merrick's 25th Annual Charity Golf Scramble on Monday, August 17, 2020 at Troy Burne Golf Club. Whether you supported Merrick as a sponsor, item donor, or golfer, your generosity helped make the event a huge success. Because of your kind support, we raised almost $37,000 in net proceeds. That's amazing!
Client Spotlight Story
Tim's Journey to Empowerment
From a very young age, it was apparent to Tim’s mother, Cindie, that he was different from his peers as he experienced frequent outbursts in the classroom. Tim would repeat kindergarten twice, and Cindie would endure two and a half years of overwhelmingly negative school reports before a diagnosis of autism would be made. Shortly after his diagnosis, he was transferred to a specialized school program. Initially, Cindie worried about placing her son in a program alongside children whose disability was more noticeable, but within a month she was relieved because Tim was not only doing better in school, he was excelling in it.

Upon first enrolling at Merrick after high school in 2006 at the age of 21, Tim chose to work onsite at Merrick where he performed light assembly tasks, but it was his involvement in Merrick’s Self-Advocacy program that would have the greatest impact. To his amazement, it was not long after joining a Self-Advocacy group that Tim was nominated and elected as president. He had never been president of anything before! In the years that followed, Tim repeatedly found himself speaking at places and in front of people he never thought possible: legislators at the Minnesota State Capitol, members of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, and fourth-grade students at local elementary schools.

After six years of working onsite at Merrick, Tim was ready for a change. With the guidance and support of our employment services team, he was soon independently hired part-time by Gordmans where he worked in the stockroom. A couple years later, Tim once again experienced restlessness at work and wanted something more challenging to occupy his time. That’s when he first learned about and was soon hired by Beltmann Relocation Group in Roseville, MN as a digital imaging assistant.

From the beginning, Beltmann and Tim were a perfect match. His love for technology along with the consistency of the job and the amazing coworkers and leadership team at Beltmann helped create an environment that both validated Tim’s strengths and encouraged future growth. Even as the work slowed, Beltmann continued to be interested in Tim and asked him to consider staying with the company, in a different position. When asked about his professional goals, he expressed to us a desire to work with phones. Soon, he was doing less digital imaging and devoting more time to answering the phone at Beltmann.

Outside of work, Tim has no shortage of hobbies to occupy his free time. Whether it’s kayaking down the Chicago River, vacationing in Las Vegas, or taking a trip to Duluth, MN, Tim is always up for an adventure as long as it includes his mother, Cindie, and PCA and long-time friend Paul. When not traveling, Tim enjoys participating in a local bowling league, making frequent visits to the Science Museum of Minnesota, and taking afternoon walks with his mom.

As he looks back on his journey thus far, Tim is quick to acknowledge the many people whose guidance and support helped him become the success that he is: his mother, his teachers, his supervisors, and his support staff at Merrick. At the same time, he also acknowledges the part he played in his own success. According to Tim, “The best person to help you is you.” More and more, Tim has come to realize the power of his own words, and is amazed at how far he has come. But the journey is far from over. Tim knows this, but instead of feeling anxiety, he feels calm, because he knows he will not be traveling alone.